Monday, February 6, 2012

What If A Student Follows You On Twitter?

"What if a student follows you on Twitter?"

I was asked this question by a staff member last week and wanted to share my thoughts:
  • I don't see any harm in students reading posts from any "hashtag discussions", such as #edchat, #cpchat, #atplc, etc.  Aren't we conducting these conversations to grow professionally with the ultimate goal of improving as a school leader?

  • I manage two Twitter accounts: @CSmithGoBlue, which is "Craig Smith", and @AshbrookHS, which is the account for my school.  This allows me to distinguish if something tweet-worthy is "coming directly from the school" or "directly from me".  I will admit, this is difficult at times.  On occasion, I will re-tweet a @CSmithGoBlue tweet using @AshbrookHS, to keep the two separated.  It sounds like a pain, but it does indeed help. 

  • Students see educators as role models within the school.  Today's 21st-century students needs to see responsible leaders with social media, as well.

  • Twitter is such an easy way to promote positive news.  For example, we have a very spirited student section (aka "The Zoo Crew") and I was extremely proud of how they conducted themselves over the past few games.  I tweeted this after a basketball game two weeks ago and, as a result, the tweet began circulating among the student body.  It was a simple token of appreciation for the students acting responsibly.

  • I don't follow back.  PLAIN AND SIMPLE.  Maybe after a student graduates.  Maybe, since...

  • It is a simple way to keep in touch with alumni, especially my former athletes.  BUT NOT CURRENT STUDENTS.

  • I understand and completely agree that educators need their "lives away from school."  So, I don't tweet my life away from school.

  • The majority of my non-educational related Tweets are sports related.  I am not too worried if students see that I believe Michigan needs a big conference road win.

  • I am going to be sending this Blog Post out via Twitter.  I am hoping a few students read it. 

Finally, the popular mantra regarding social media is to "never post anything you wouldn't want your grandma to see."  At a public forum, I once heard a Detective say, "You shouldn't have anything on Social Media that you wouldn't want to see on the front page of The Charlotte Observer."  I prefer to use the mentality of "never tweet something you wouldn't want the entire student body to see".

Thanks for reading and follow me via Twitter @CSmithGoBlue!


The opinions shared in this blog belong to Craig Smith and do not represent the school or district in which he works.

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